On this classic episode of Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know, Ben Bowlin and Matt Frederick tell us about the many conspiracy theories surrounding secret technology developed by Nazi scientists during World War II, specifically UFOs. Ben reminds us that UFO simply means “unidentified flying object,” not necessarily something related to aliens: “It could be a bird. It could be Superman. It could just be a very confused fish,” he points out. But alien or not, pilots during the war reported seeing mysterious points of light they called “foo fighters” they couldn’t identify. These foo fighters could travel at high speeds, and their flight patterns seemed to defy physics. Were these lights the result of a mundane electrical discharge or lens flare? Or were the Nazis actually working on cutting-edge flight technology in secret?
To dive into this theory, it’s important to remember the context of the times. Both the Allied and Axis Powers were “throwing tons of BS at each other,” which included propaganda about Nazis developing high-powered technology in submarines and jet propulsion. So it’s possible these pilots were prepared to attribute any weird tech they saw to the Nazis, regardless of whether it made sense. But while some of the rumors were likely exaggerated or made up, it was true that Nazi scientists developed aircraft that was leaps and bounds ahead of what the Allies were flying. Whether it was actually better, or easily applicable, technology is debatable – after all, the Allies won the war – but it’s certainly true that their tech was cutting-edge. So there is a grain of truth to this idea. However, it’s less clear if much of that tech actually made it past the research phase into development.
The conspiracy really gained ground when a Polish writer published Brotherhood of the Bell, claiming that Axis scientists had cracked the code on anti-gravity, enabling them to build a bell-shaped aircraft that could defy the laws of physics. There’s even a flooded mine in Europe rumored to be where the research and development of the bell took place – and Ben and Matt are excited to imagine the potential Nicolas Cage-led movie about its uncovering – but it’s important to note that there is no evidence to back these claims up at all. However, the guys did uncover some very real, provable Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know about Nazis, rockets, and the U.S. space program; find out all the incredible details on this episode.
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